Why The McShane Firm? We Know Breath Testing

There are a lot of law firms out there who are willing to take on your criminal or DUI case, but there is only one McShane Firm. So how is the McShane Firm different and better than the rest? In this series, we will take a look at some factors you should consider when choosing a law firm.

Previously in this series, we posted:

Today we look at How we Know Breath Testing.

Breath testing for DUI is flawed. The manufacturers of these machines know that they are flawed. Politicians know that they are flawed. However, everyone turns a blind eye to this problem.

At The McShane Firm, we know breath testing. This is an area we are trained and experienced in. We are passionate about fighting breath testing cases because many times we are able to make a difference in these cases that other attorneys can’t. In fact, it was The McShane Firm that Fought to End Breath Testing in Dauphin County.

    There are many common issues which could produce an unreliable breath test result. For example:

  • Breath Testing is not specific to ethanol. This is a major design flaw which causes a number of false positives. Breath testing relies on infrared spectrometry which measures wavelengths produced by ethanol. The problems is, many other substances also produce similar wavelengths which means the machine will believe those substances to also be ethanal. Thus, certain cosmetics, lotions, hand sanitizers, and mouthwashes can trigger a higher than normal result. Use of nail polish remover, common household cleaners, or paint thinner can also cause the breath test to show an artificially high number.
  • Certain chemicals in the body can also cause breath tests to show a higher number. This can happen under certain medical conditions like if a diabetic experiences low blood sugar for example. When this happens, the produces a substance called isopropanol which the breath machines measure as being ethanol.
  • When there is still alcohol in the mouth, this can produce a very high breath test reading which is not in line with what is actually in the body. This problem is called residual mouth alcohol.
  • Breath testing does not measure the amount of alcohol in the blood. The machine indirectly measures the amount of alcohol in a breath sample and then converts that to what is in the blood. However, this relies on a number of assumptions which do not hold true in every case. People process alcohol differently. There is a difference between a 120lb woman as opposed to a 280lb man.
  • Breath machines must be maintained and calibrated based on very specific guidelines. Many police departments do not perform the necessary maintenance on time. Sometimes they do keep their log books up to date. These are areas that can be challenged.

These are some of the many examples of why knowing the science behind breath testing is absolutely vital. If your attorney does not know about these issues in depth, they may miss opportunities to challenge your case.

At The McShane Firm, we are The Science Attorneys. No law firm can match our experience and knowledge in DUI breath testing. We pride ourselves in investigating the facts or your case and preparing challenges based on science. Our approach is unique and we have helped many drivers get results.

If you are facing a DUI and your future is on the line, call The McShane Firm and ask us about how we can use science in your case.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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